Today the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were finally revealed. These were the last big flagship devices that we have been waiting to see this fall. Of course, we got the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X already shown to us so it was up to Google to drop what they have been working on. Like many smartphones before them, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were not immune to leaks so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Still, it’s always nice to get official confirmation and see what companies have managed to keep under wraps until the big reveal.
Now that we have seen the devices, it’s time to compare them. That’s right, the pure Android devices are going head to head! It’s a Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL showdown! First, let’s look at some of the basic specs and then break things down a little further:
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Not shown in the Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL comparison chart is how many times machine learning was said while explaining each device. Seriously, machine learning was the phrase of the day for Google. Anyway, as you can see, there are a lot of similarities between the two devices on paper. As expected, the Pixel 2 has a slightly smaller display and lower resolution compared to its older sibling. Both devices have the same chipset, RAM, and storage. Storage is not expandable with an SD card. Google is offering unlimited free photo storage with these devices so you might be able to get away with 64GB unless you tend to load up your device with a ton of media. If you’re like me and Spotify just streams all of your music then you should be just fine with 64GB.
There have been some improvements made in the camera used on both devices. Optical image stabilization (OIS) has been added for this year which puts the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on par with the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X. One big difference between those previous flagships and Google’s offerings is the number of camera sensors. Google has continued to opt for just a single camera sensor while many flagships have moved to dual sensors. The dual sensor cameras have a distinct advantage in low light situations and using depth of field effect like Portrait Mode on the iPhone X. Google did, however, include new software with simulated bokeh effects to help make up the difference between their single camera sensor and the dual camera sensors on other devices. From what I saw from people Tweeting at the launch event, it seems like Google has nailed it with their newest software. Obviously we will want to see this in action more once the devices are out in the wild but it doesn’t sound like the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL cameras fall well behind the pack.
The design of the devices is where the Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL comparison really starts to heat up. The Pixel 2 has kept a very similar design to last year which means the bezels look a little dated compared to newer flagships on the market like the Galaxy S8 and iPhone X. However, the Pixel 2 XL has gone with a newer, bezel-less design that’s in line with the latest trends in smartphone design. If you look at both devices you can see these are both very nice smartphones. However, put them side by side and the Pixel 2 XL has a clear advantage in the design and style department. If you like the bezel-less design that many manufacturers have been going with then the Pixel 2 XL is the device for you.
For some, one major downside with these devices is the loss of the 3.5mm headphone port. We heard all summer long that Google was going to do it but some people refused to believe it until the devices were officially announced. Well, it’s true. The 3.5mm headphone port is no more in the Pixel lineup. I’m still a little in shock about this just because of the marketing aspect of it all. Last year, Google took shots at Apple for getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone port in the iPhone 7. Now, Google has done the same thing they were making fun of just one year ago. So, did they learn their lesson about making fun of Apple during the launch of their new devices? Of course not! This year Google mentioned the fact that other devices (read: iPhones) don’t give unlimited photo storage and save certain features for larger devices. While that is true, Google should tread carefully. Who knows… Maybe next year we will only get a dual camera sensor on the larger Pixel 3 XL and Google can pretend like they didn’t get the idea from Apple while simultaneously making fun of them for it. Okay, I got that little rant out of the way. Anyway, when it comes to the 3.5mm headphone port in the Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL showdown I consider both devices to be losers.
Finally… There is the price. The base model 64GB Pixel 2 costs $649 while the 64GB Pixel 2 XL will set you back $849. So, is the extra $200 worth getting the Pixel 2 XL? I guess that’s a personal decision. For me, the money is worth it. You get a better display, a bigger display, and a better design for a little more money. If you plan on using the device for 2 or 3 years then putting up the extra $200 for the better device is worth it. However, that’s not to say that the Pixel 2 isn’t a great device. It has a familiar form factor and still offers a ton of performance at a pretty decent price. If you want to save some money you definitely won’t be disappointed with your purchase.
Debating to buy the Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL? You can’t go wrong either way… That is, unless you want a 3.5mm headphone port…